Three Tendon Injuries Athletes Commonly Experience in Their Hands

Bobby Chhabra pic
Bobby Chhabra
Image: med.virginia.edu

An experienced physician and educator, Dr. Bobby Chhabra is a professor and department chair of orthopedic surgery at the University of Virginia. Dr. Bobby Chhabra holds an additional role as team physician for the university’s athletic teams, and he has concentrated much of his research and practice on surgical treatments for injuries in the wrist and hand.

Athletes of all sports share the risk of bodily harm when competing. When it comes to injuries related to the wrist and hand, some are more common than others. Consider the following three.

1. Tendonitis in the wrist

Individuals who participate in sports like basketball or volleyball can experience extensor carpal ulnaris tendonitis, or ECU tendonitis. This condition results from concentrated motions and extreme pressure on the wrist, such as in shooting or spiking a ball. With ECU, the tendonitis manifests in the tendon or tendons at the back of the wrist.

2. Jersey finger

Another tendon injury experienced by athletes is jersey finger, so named because it occurs when a player pulls the jersey of an opponent. The movement and pressure involved tear the flexor tendons in the finger, and extensive damage can result in a fracture.

3. Baseball finger

Repeatedly catching or otherwise absorbing the force of a fast-moving ball can damage the extensor tendon and deform the finger. This deformation challenges the ability of the finger to straighten with ease. Baseball players, as the name suggests, frequently deal with this injury.

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